Justin Hemmes now Australia’s largest hospitality owner

May 8, 2019
By Alana House

Merivale’s recent purchase of The 3 Weeds Hotel in Rozelle, Sydney, has made Justin Hemmes the kingpin in Australia’s hospitality industry.

It brings Hemmes’ venue count to 73, which News Corp reports makes
him “Australia’s biggest hospitality player ahead of groups like Bruce Solomon and Matt Moran’s Solotel and the Laundy pub group.”

Merivale reportedly paid $5million for The 3 Weeds, although PubTic puts the figure at $7.5 million.

Andrew Jolliffe at brokerage firm HTL Property told The Daily Telegraph Hemmes has moved beyond the tag of ‘pub tsar’ and cemented his status as a real estate tycoon.

“In terms of property, Justin perhaps had the biggest impact on the industry of anyone in the country last year,” said Jolliffe, who predicts the buy-up will continue.

“My view on Justin and his acquisitions … if there were 10 venues between now and they end of the year that met his criteria, I would fully expect him could action all ten of them.”

Internal strife for Merivale empire

However, it’s not all smooth sailing for Merivale. The Sydney Morning Herald reports that Hemmes’ lawyers at Johnson Winter & Slattery have applied for freezing orders to be placed on the assets of the company’s construction project manager Joel Cheeseman.

“At the heart of the dispute — about which neither Hemmes nor Cheeseman would comment yesterday — appear to be allegations of misleading and deceptive conduct and a breach of contract,” said the SMH.

“A summons was filed at the Supreme Court on Thursday and obtained by this column also shows the company is pursuing Cheeseman for allegations of a breach of fiduciary duty.”

JWS also wants Cheeseman to hand over bank statements since August 2015 and any correspondence about transferring those funds.

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